School's out and summer is here! Time to pursue that great American pastime - the lazy summer vacation. Be it at the beach, in the mountains, or somewhere in between, there's actually a great value in taking time off and letting your mind daydream for a bit.
In fact, summer dreaming time is the perfect way to spark what could be a dramatic change in your philanthropy. All you need, really, is your own permission to do so.
While you're miles away from the phone, co-workers, and day-to-day expectations, give yourself time and space to dream a little. Take a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to understand that any and all thoughts are welcome - even those that may feel unorthodox. Relax.
Now, pretend you're starting with a completely blank slate. You're taking the financial assets and the knowledge you've accumulated to date, and you're starting from scratch.
Forget what you've learned about how philanthropy "should" be done. How will you go about it now? Here are a few questions to get your summer brainstorm started:
- Would you make grants, or engage in something completely different?
- Would you reorganize everything in your foundation, or would you even have a foundation at all? What other form could your philanthropy take?
- Who would you most like to work with to make the world better? Why? What inspires you about that person? What do they do that you can't? (And why can't you?)
- What's holding you back? Why? How could a new approach move you past that obstacle?
- What new developments or trends have you seen (inside or outside of the philanthropic sector) that have sparked your interest? How might those factor into your new approach?
As you may have surmised, the goal is to think big! Don't worry about the details - there will be ways to work them out later. Instead, search for the new ideas that inspire and excite you. Jot them down or record them electronically. Then, when vacation time is over, go back to them. If they still inspire and excite you, chances are they will inspire and excite others, too. Use them to spark something new and different in your day-to-day world, and in the world your philanthropy serves!
Want more inspiration to spark your thinking? Purchase my new book, Confident Giving
, now available on Amazon!